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Child and Adolescent Refugee Mental Health in Brazil: Literature Review and a Family Case Report

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Background: Forcibly displaced children and adolescents may be exposed to continued risks to their healthy development in their new low- and middle-income countries. However, previous studies have focused mainly on those resettled in high-income countries.

Objectives: We sought to present a family case report and to review the literature on the mental health of child and adolescent refugees in Brazil.

“child and adolescent,” “mental health,” “refugee,” “asylum,” “low and middle income country,” “developing countries,” “migration” “Latin America,” “Brazil.” Sources such as official reports of United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees and Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Health were also used. A family case is presented to illustrate mental health issues of young refugees in Brazil.

Results: While the majority of the world's refugees move within the developing World, few studies were found to assess pediatric mental health in low- and middle-income countries. There were no studies conducted in Brazil, whose asylumseeker and refugee population is increasing.

Conclusions: Migrant children and adolescent mental health have not been yet addressed in a systematic way in Brazil, where the mental health of children and adolescents is an evolving discipline. Assessment of mental health needs of the small but increasing number of asylum-seeking and refugee youths in Brazil is necessary if appropriate mental health care to this population is to be provided.
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Keywords: Brazil; Iraqi refugees; Latin America; Refugees; asylum-seekers; child and adolescent mental health

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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  • Adolescent Psychiatry publishes reports of original research, critical reviews of topics relevant to practitioners, clinical observations with analysis and discussion, analysis of philosophical, ethical or social aspects of the fields of psychiatry and mental health, case reports with discussions, letters, and position papers. Adolescent Psychiatry, a peer-reviewed journal, and the official journal of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, aims to provide mental health professionals who work with adolescents with current information relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders in adolescence.
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